News

Survey: Midwesterners not buying ‘wind turbine syndrome’

Source: by Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News • Posted: Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Among the states surveyed, the lowest percentage of people who believe wind turbines cause health problems (7 percent) was in Iowa, a state that leads the nation in proportion of energy from wind. Meanwhile, the highest percentage believing such claims (21 percent) was in Wisconsin, a state which has far fewer wind farms and where some political leaders have in recent years been hostile to renewable and distributed energy.

Boom in Energy Spurs Industry in the Rust Belt

Source: By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Waist-high weeds and a crumbling old Chevy mark the entrance to a rust-colored factory complex on the edge of town here, seemingly another monument to the passing of the golden age of American industry. But deep inside the 14-acre site, the thwack-thwack-thwack sound of metal on metal tells a different story. “We’re holding our own,” said Greg Hess, who is looking to hire draftsmen and machine operators at the company he runs, Youngstown Bending and Rolling. “I feel good that we saved this place from the wrecking ball.”

State regulators to discuss EPA draft rule with House subcommittee

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 8th, 2014

A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will offer a preview tomorrow of comments being prepared for U.S. EPA by state regulators and agencies on the proposed federal rule for curbing power plants’ carbon emissions. The Energy and Power Subcommittee hearing is likely to survey the EPA proposal’s legal foundation, its effect on power supply and its likely cost along with a look at state concerns about implementation costs and the need for legislation.

Build-out of solar and wind power coupled with energy efficiency could help stabilize climate — study

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 8th, 2014

Far from breaking the backs of U.S. businesses and taxpayers, the United States can cut energy-sector carbon pollution by 40 percent from 2005 levels and create 2.7 million jobs over the next 20 years by aggressively investing in clean energy technologies and energy efficiency, a new economic analysis has found. The findings, from the liberal Center for American Progress and the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, suggest that annual investment of $200 billion, from both the public and private sectors, would sufficiently tip the scales toward climate stabilization while actually growing the U.S. economy.

Hillary Clinton makes a case for U.S. as the ‘clean energy superpower’

Source: Debra Kahn, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 8th, 2014

Former Secretary of State and widely anticipated presidential candidate Hillary Clinton set the table for a strong renewable energy platform in her appearance at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) clean energy summit yesterday. Clinton spread praise and encouragement far and wide, hailing Nevada’s, Texas’ and Iowa’s pursuit of renewable energy, highlighting the role of natural gas and sounding an optimistic note on global climate change negotiations.

N.J. pilot project gets lifeline, with final decision expected this fall

Source: Colin Sullivan, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 8th, 2014

A proposed offshore wind farm that was rejected by New Jersey earlier this year may yet see the light of day as the first active U.S.-based offshore wind plant following a series of key developments in August. At issue is a proposed 25-megawatt pilot project off the coast of Atlantic City from developer Fishermen’s Energy LLC. The proposal looked as if it was headed for the scrap heap in April when the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities rejected a motion to reconsider the project under guidance from the Republican governor of the Garden State, Chris Christie.

U.S. Department of Energy Releases 2013 Distributed Wind Market Report

Source: By Kevin Smead, Renewables  • Posted: Monday, September 8th, 2014

The U.S. Department of Energy released its Distributed Wind Energy Market Report earlier this week, detailing the state of the U.S. wind market. It outlines key facts and figures and provides a snapshot of what the market currently looks like. The first point of note is that the market is declining. In 2013, 30.4 MW of new wind capacity was added. This represents 2,700 units across 36 states including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. This is an 83% decline from additions in 2012, though it remains in line with an overall 92% decline for the same time period.

Social cost of carbon gets its day in court in Minn.

Source: Jeffrey Tomich, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 8th, 2014

The federal government’s social cost of carbon values is going on trial in Minnesota. Required by state law to establish a dollar value for the environmental damages caused by power plants carbon dioxide emissions, state utility regulators sent the contentious issue to an administrative law judge. If it plays out like it has so far, the case will pit advocacy groups that successfully petitioned the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to refresh outdated values for damages caused by CO2 emissions against utilities and big power users, which will try to poke holes in the methodology used by the federal interagency work group and experts.

Verizon sees renewable energy backup system as a profit-making venture

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, September 5th, 2014

Verizon Communications Inc., the United States’ largest cellular and broadband provider, polished its green business credentials last week by announcing it would effectively double its solar power generation at 13 company-owned sites in six states. The additional solar power, which should boost the firm’s renewable energy portfolio to an industry-leading 25 megawatts, was more than a gesture toward promoting clean energy and environmental sustainability.

Re-inventing the grid

Source: By Steve Calechman, MIT News • Posted: Friday, September 5th, 2014

Cambridge-based MIT startup Ambri is building a novel liquid metal battery for grid-level storage to revolutionize energy in the 21st century. The challenge of selling any new idea is that it has to compete with every other new idea. The process is more difficult when the idea’s technology hasn’t existed and addresses an issue that some industries don’t see as a problem. Such is the reality of Ambri.